Do you experience fear regularly? What causes you to be fearful? Are you afraid you will get caught doing something you shouldn’t be doing? Are you afraid of the punishment you will receive for doing wrong?
We are used to being punished for doing wrong. As children, our parents punished us for doing something we weren’t supposed to do. Perhaps it was a spanking or sitting in a chair or being grounded or a serious tongue lashing. The punishment was a deterrent for doing bad things.
As we grow older our punishment changes into something entirely different. We find that our employers have a set of rules we must obey, or we may be fired. We fear we may get a speeding ticket if we exceed the speed limit and go by a police car. We also discover there are unwritten social decorum and fear it could cause us to be ostracized if we don’t follow them.
As we go through life, we discover many of these types of laws, rules, and unwritten rules. We find ourselves conforming to them, even if we do so unconsciously. Once we conform to the rules, they become second nature. We don’t think about them anymore.
Did you know that obeying authorities is something Paul wrote about? Paul tells the Roman Christians to obey the authorities and they would not need to fear them. These are the same Roman authorities that didn’t like Christians much and often found any reason whatsoever to punish them, even to the point of crucifying them. If Paul expected the Christians of the day to obey authorities that were looking to punish them, should we make an exception for ourselves today?
Paul expected those he wrote to, the Christians, to obey the authorities appointed over them. You see, Christians are to have a bigger picture view. They know this life is temporary. They know eternal life is coming. They know living forever in God’s presence is such an amazing reward that we cannot even fathom it. So, obeying authorities and bearing some small bit of pain on this earth is more than worth the trouble.
I pray we all understand we are to obey the authorities appointed over us. I pray we decide to be obedient to our parents, our bosses, our governments. I pray each one of us will make a personal commitment to live our lives as Paul expected the Roman Christians. Obey authorities. Do what is expected. Be the example for others. Have no more fear of authorities.
Romans 13:3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.